Sensory Play Items for 1-2 years

“Sensory Play” is a very common term nowadays. We used to just call it PLAY, but with the rise of technology, we now have to specify.

ALL kids, not just those with special needs, benefit from play that engages all of their senses.

This post is about our most used items that promote the good “ol’ fashioned get your hands dirty” type of play. You may be wondering where to start, Pinterest is almost TOO good at bringing you ideas. I have compiled a list of our most adored sensory items here, and you can also visit our newly launched sensory page for activity ideas!

Let’s get to Playing!

MUSIC SET: This toy has been perfect for my two sensory-avoiders. It allows them to explore sounds, but all the instruments are designed in such a way to not be OVERLY loud.  Every item is perfectly sized for young children, and stores neatly inside the drum. 

We have shared lots of laughter with this music set. It also promotes joint attention (shared focus) and imitation.

PLAY SET: This set helped us survive winter, or any time sickness prevents us from going out as a family.  You can do SO much with this, from gross-motor practice, sorting colors, to learning about weather by mimicking storms and rain. 

We also love that the pieces can be used separately, so we are constantly changing how the play set is used. Boredom is not an issue!

PUZZLES:Melissa & Doug puzzles are great for practicing fine motor skills with your littles. They are colorful, sturdy, and engaging. We really like that there is a variety of options for every skill level

Advanced Learner

Beginning Learner

We store these in our therapy cabinet, so they remain “new.” The twins get so excited every time we bring them out, and will focus on them for about 10-15 minutes each. That’s about 3 years in toddler time!

FINE MOTOR TOY: This hedgehog toy sparked a HUGE change in my children’s fine motor skills. We also LOVE that this toy offers multiple “levels,” so you’re not throwing money away. Once our girls master putting on the “quills” in, we can move on to color identification and pattern recognition. 

Simple enough to instill confidence, but challenging enough to keep their attention!

BUBBLE TROUBLE: You can add bubbles to just about anything in our house and the giggles will start. Whether it’s buying me time to finish making dinner, or bath-time silliness, our bubble machine is used every day!

We use bubbles to practice using pointer fingers, sing songs, we stomp on bubbles, you name it.

Last, but NOT least, are POKE-A-DOT BOOKS. They are an all time FAVORITE and used every day. Our Libby likes to fly past pages before taking them in, but not the case with her Poke-A-Dot books!

The farm book is a bit larger, so if you are traveling I recommend their smaller sized books.

We hope you enjoy our suggestions, and that you visit our sensory page! Don’t forget to share your favorite sensory toys or activities below, we love hearing new ideas!

Our newest page!